Sharath Marar is “exclusive” in Tollywood not because he’s the producer of Sardar Gabbar Singh, but because he’s Pawan Kalyan’s “best friend”. Even the actor’s own siblings, Chiranjeevi and Nagababu, cannot claim to be so.
A fourth generation Malayali settled in Hyderabad, Sharath has been PK’s companion for the last 15 years.
Earlier, he was the South head of Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited. And despite getting big offers from Sanjiv Gupta and Ronnie Screwvala to move to Mumbai after that, Sharath preferred to stay back in Hyderabad, with Pawan Kalyan.
An inseparable part of Pawan Kalyan’s team for the last 15 years, Sharath Marar is always seen with the star at functions. Says Sharath, “I first met him in 2002 when he started his film Johnny.”
Interestingly, it was Chiranjeevi he had met first. “I was the person who signed Chiranjeevi for an advertisement,” he recalls. It was 2000. “I don’t know how to contact him… I chased him for nearly six months and one day I got a call from Allu Aravind,” he says.
“After the agreement was signed I used to meet Chiranjeevi and if anyone came to meet him for anything other than films, he would refer them to me,” adds Sharath. He thus slowly became close to Chiru.
In 2002, Allu Aravind gave Sharath three project options. One was Allu Arjun’s debut Gangothri, another a project with Chiranjeevi and the third one was with PK, who was looking for someone to help him with the production of Johnny.
“Allu Aravind told me that if Pawan Kalyan rejected me, he couldn’t put me in any of the other two projects. But I told him I would go with Johnny,” recalls Sharath.
“I still remember that I met PK at 11 am and our meeting went on till the evening.” Since then Sharath has worked with Pawan Kalyan.
Adding that meeting Pawan Kalyan was the turning point in his life, he says, “In our meeting he told me about his likes and dislikes, so that I wouldn’t need to get any info from anyone about him.”
“I was born and brought up in Hyderabad and completed my education too here,” says Sharath, who knew filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma prior to his Shiva days. He is a fourth generation Malayali settled in Hyderabad.
“I gained experience in films, television, game shows and all entertainment-related projects when I worked with Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited,” recalls Sharath, who was the South head for ABCL.
Sharath also got offers from Sanjiv Gupta and Ronnie Screwvala at that time. “They asked me to come to Mumbai, but I preferred to stay here in Hyderabad,” he says.
Later he started his own advertisement company and then met Chiranjeevi to sign the contract. When Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna and Matrix Prasad started Maa TV, they had asked Sharath to head it. “I worked for three years and when I left it, the channel was in profit,” he says.
All throughout, he was with Pawan Kalyan. “After my Maa TV stint, in 2007, I got an offer from Mumbai, but at that time Pawan Kalyan advised me not to go. From then I have stuck with him,” he says.
PK even told him that he would give him dates for a film to produce. But the promised project got delayed till Atharintiki Daredi as the actor concentrated on politics.
Pawan Kalyan later told Sharath that he could allot 20 to 25 days for a project and that’s how both PK and Sharath got on board for Gopala Gopala.
Sardar Gabbar Singh is the first full-fledged film that Sharath is producing with Pawan Kalyan.
Sharath says that the idea of Sardar Gabbar Singh had been in Pawan Kalyan’s mind for long but he could not take it up due to prior commitments. “He is very creative and whenever he gets an idea he writes it down. Then he gives it to his team to develop,” he says.
“When he is working on a project, he never watches TV, because it diverts him. That’s the reason there is no TV in his office,” says Sharath. He gives credit to PK for everything in SGS. “From the story idea to production to sets, everything was from his creative mind. We just supervised,” he says....